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Organic Rankine Cycle for Automotive and Transportation

Working fluids for high-efficiency waste heat recovery

Organic Rankine Cycle technology enables low-grade waste heat recovery used to generate useful mechanical or electrical energy. For example, an internal combustion engine utilizes less than half of the available energy from its fuel source; the remaining energy is lost as heat.

There has been increasing interest in developing organic rankine cycle systems for waste heat recovery from automotive exhaust and cooling systems. This recovered heat could be utilized to drive a turbine for generating electricity in hybrid vehicles or converted directly to mechanical power. Organic rankine cycle systems are also being used to generate electrical power via geothermal and solar heat transfer, as well as waste heat recovery from biomass and various industrial processes.

A critical element in the development of practical organic rankine cycle systems is the working fluid used to absorb heat, converting it to power. As this working fluid vaporizes, it drives a turbine before condensing and being re-routed to the heat source.

3M offers two high-performance working fluids that are particularly suited to the requirements of organic rankine cycle heat transfer systems – combining excellent thermal stability, compatibility with typical materials of construction and outstanding safety and environmental properties.

The sustainable solution for Organic Rankine Cycle heat transfer

3M™ Novec™ 649 Engineered Fluid and 3M™ Novec™ 7000 Engineered Fluid are both from the Novec family of low global warming materials – designed to deliver safe, effective and sustainable solutions in a wide range of applications.

Novec fluids offer proven heat transfer performance, with properties that make them ideal candidates for use as organic rankine cycle working fluids, including:

  • Good materials compatibility
  • Low toxicity
  • Non-flammable
  • Zero Ozone Depletion Potential
  • Low Global Warming Potential

In addition to Novec 649 and 7000 fluids, 3M offers a range of developmental heat transfer fluids, available in a wide range of boiling points, that may also be candidates for use as organic rankine cycle working fluids. For more information, we invite you to contact our 3M heat transfer fluid experts now. They're ready to review your system requirements and provide a variety of fluid options.


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